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Birthday Letters

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Birthday Letters By Ted Hughes, book reviewBirthday Letters is a collection of poetry by Ted Hughes that, with two exceptions, is addressed to his late wife Sylvia Plath who committed suicide in 1963. The book was first published in 1998 and contains poems that were written over the course of 25 years. Despite the intense enduring interest in Plath and her life, Hughes had always remained completely silent about her and frequently received much scorn from Plath admirers for having an affair when they were married and destroying the last part of her journals after her death, an act Hughes says he did to spare their children. Given the long silence by Hughes on Plath, Birthday Letters (which contains 88 poems) was therefore a very big deal when it was published and eagerly anticipated. ‘You are ten years dead,’ says Hughes in one of the first poems (Visit). ‘It is only a story. Your story. My story.’

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